Last week in Nashville, the International Bluegrass Music Association welcomed 26 participants in their annual Leadership Bluegrass program for an intensive, three-day program designed to help identify and nature leaders in all aspects of bluegrass music.
The 26 were chosen from more than 60 applicants for this year’s course, which combines training and facilitated, off-the-record discussions among the collection of performing artists, promoters, association leaders, record label personnel, publicists, journalists, radio hosts, and more.
The program has operated since 2000, with over 400 graduates since that time. Participants have often spoken of the benefits that they feel they have obtained by attending, and not least the networking opportunities that come to the fore in the informal setting that Leadership Bluegrass cultivates. Many of the graduates attend occasional reunions with other attendees, taking advantage of the ability to meet closely with others outside of their own class.
The class picture (above) includes:
- bottom row – Dede Wyland (artist), Leah James (IBMA), Annie Savage (Colorado Bluegrass Association), Janet Brightly (festival sponsorship developer), Lisa Husted (Grey Fox/Joe Val)
- second row – Kathy Hanson (educator), Marian Leighton Levy (Rounder), Lee Stivers (Whiskey Rebellion festival)
- third row – Sal Sauco (Rhode Island Bluegrass Association), Daniel Boner (ETSU)
- fourth row – Dustin Boyd (Planet Bluegrass), Jocelyn Gold (Gold Heart), Darby Brandli (California Bluegrass Association), Kimber Ludiker (Della Mae)
- fifth row – Patrice O’Neill (Wintergrass), Brad Kolodner (WAMU), Chris Joslin (IBMM), Angus Finnan (Folk Alliance), Lucas White (Bluegrass Heritage Foundation)
- sixth row – Laurie Okun (Raleigh Convention Center), Tony Kamel (Wood & Wire)
- seventh row – Devon Leger (Hearth Music), Kelsi Harrigill (Flatt Lonesome), Alan Bibey (Grasstowne), James Reams (Arizona Bluegrass Association), David Morris (Bluegrass Today)